Soldier's remains returned to daughter after 67 years - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Soldier's remains returned to daughter after 67 years

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Story by Antwan Harris
Eyewitness News Reporter

HAMILTON COUNTY, TN. (WRCB)-- Tulie Swilling described herself as emotionless when she learned her father's remains were found overseas.

He left the family to fight in World War II.

More than six decades later, she says the family can finally honor his name.

Swilling says she was only seven-years-old when her father was killed, but she has vivid memories of the times they spent together.

She says she can finally rest her mind after not knowing for so long, what happened to him.

"I didn't cry until they told he was coming back," says Swilling.

It's brings to tears Tuile Swilling's eyes knowing her father, Staff Sergeant Berthold Chastain, is coming home after 67 years.

"I was just dumbfounded. I couldn't believe it after all these years," says Swilling.

Chastain, a WWII Army/Air force tail-gunner, has been missing since 1943.

Swilling said his plane was shot down over New Guinea and no one from his troop was heard from again.

Tuesday, she received a call from the U.S. Military saying her father's remains were found in tact.

She says now she can give her father a proper burial.

"It is such a relief in a way. Not knowing, you can make up so much in your mind," says Swilling.

Swilling described her father as a gentle man, who loved his family dearly.

She says it was a shock to receive that call, but she always knew it would come one day.

"I have imagined that happening and have gone over it in my mind. Sometimes I tell my friend, did that really happen or did I just make that up," says Swilling.

The family will meet with military personnel next Tuesday.

There they will receive his remains along with a journal about an inch thick.

It will contain all the details of the military's search and how they found the remains.

Swilling says she has the option to bury her father anywhere in the U.S.

Right now she is considering, a local cemetery.

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